30 Nov 2011

Researchers looking at cybercrime like criminologists

With the rise of online crime, an engineer and a criminologist are starting to look at cybercrime like any other crime. The pair from University of Maryland are looking at criminology concepts and methods as they relate to cybercrime hoping to lead to recommendations for how IT managers can ramp up internet security and other programs, such as antivirus software.

"We believe that criminological insights in the study of cybercrime are important, since they may support the development of concrete security policies that consider not only the technical element of cybercrime but also the human component," said David Marimon, assistant professor of criminology. He is working with with Michel Cukier, associate professor of reliability engineering.

Applying criminology to one study, the pair looked at computer-focused crime between 2007 and 2009, successful criminal incidents are "the consequence of the convergence in space and time of motivated offenders, suitable victims and the absence of capable guardians." Researchers said the university would be more likely to be attacked during business hours than off hours.

Tony Bradley writes on PCWorld this research so far seems to connect with the fact that users are the weakest link and IT professionals who keep one step ahead may make for better internet security measures.